The Compulsive Reader: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Piddy doesn’t have very many things to be happy about: her best friend just moved away, and now Piddy and her mom are moving to a new apartment. It doesn’t matter much that the apartment is nicer—it’s in a new neighborhood, which means a different school. Piddy is friendless, and what’s even worse is that Yaqui Delagado—a girl Piddy has never even talked to—has decided she is going to kick Piddy’s ass. Piddy knows the adults can’t be trusted, so she decides to get tough and do anything it takes to avoid Yaqui—even if it means turning into someone she doesn’t recognize.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is as hard-hitting and engaging as its title. Piddy is a fascinating character put in an impossible situation, and she’s smart and sympathetic, even when she’s backed into a corner. Medina aligns Piddy’s fear of Yaqui and her bullying with Piddy’s exploration of her parentage and her own sense of helplessness when it comes to knowing about her past. While both Yaqui and the truth about her father knock Piddy down, her relationships with a new girl at school, her mother’s best friend, and a childhood friend help teach her when to be tough, and when to have the strength to reach out for help. While Piddy’s resolution with her bullying problems might leave readers feeling dissatisfied, her emotional journey is well-rounded and the conclusion to this book is both realistic and hopeful.

Cover Comments: I love this cover--slightly gritty, yet shiny. I love the locker and how the title looks like graffiti. It does a great job at evoking an edgy, dangerous vibe without being too cool.

Book purchased from my indie.

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